Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tuning Up Via IT

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tuning Up Via IT

Article excerpt

For years the Federal Reserve has struggled to pinpoint exactly how information technology boosts productivity. In many cases, it doesn't allow for quantitative analysis. And yet the integration of computer hardware into the workplace has allowed software developers to target each little task as a potentially profitable niche.

Take Okie World of Norman, for example. That five-year software developer and consulting firm has just released its XITStaff program to automate the marketing processes of IT contract placement agencies. With it, scratch pads begin to disappear. Computers can take over managing the details to replace the monotony of manual paperwork labor.

"It automates the entire process of marketing -- it just makes it easier for the marketing director to make decisions," explained Shalini Sirinivasan, vice president of Okie World. "If the marketer schedules an interview for one person, another marketer cannot schedule it for this person. Clashes don't occur. It kind of eases off the process of the recruiter because he has to enter the details -- usually on paper. He can automate the process by entering the details of whatever he wants -- scheduling interviews and checking the availability and things like that."

She noted that most IT consulting firms have an in-house employee who formats rsums to make them presentable to the client. "What we are trying to do is we are trying to simulate the process where you don't really need a person to do that -- it will automatically do that where you transport it into a (Microsoft) Word file. So any time you want, you can say `Hey, here's the consultant and I want the rsum of this guy.' So he pulls out the details for you to review and if you want to make some changes and minor modifications, you can do it on the screen, then it will forward it into Word."

That provides a lengthy explanation of how one product automates one segment of the workplace, for just one sector of the economy, and boosts productivity by saving time and money while cutting manpower needs. It also gives Okie World a product to profit by. Shalini and her sister Sowmya Sridhar, who together developed the new software package, plan to showcase it at the National Association of Computer Consultants meeting early next month in Miami, Fla., and again at the Itech Trade Show, Nov. 15 and 16 in Tulsa.

But in a broader sense, this software illustrates how consultants like Okie World help to tune up the workplace via information technology improvements.

Terry Risenhoover, Okie World's director of business development, noted one of his firm's objectives is to help fill short-term IT staffing needs of Oklahoma-based companies.

"We can fill any position in information technology because our skill sets are so broad by virtue of all the companies we've worked for around the country," he said. …

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